Just because I’m home doesn’t mean my wanderings will stop. I’m back in the city that both inspires me and drives me distraction, and I plan on making the most out of my time here. There are old friends to play with and new friends to make. There are cafés for tea and chocolate cake, bars for wine (preferably a fruity white), loud, dark spaces for dancing, markets and mayhem and vantage points for epic views of Joburg’s beauty.
Thank you Frances Ringwood for letting me steal your beautiful drawing of the city centre. Here’s hoping I can coerce you into doing some drawings for my blog 🙂
Joburg’s city centre is a maze of mystery for me. I love getting lost in the gridlock, wondering at the clash of old and new, modern and dated, African chaos and Western order. Vegetable sellers have set up their makeshift stalls around the corner from the entrance to a bank headquarters, cardboard boxes protecting their wares from the blinding autumn sun. A building dating back to the early 1900s slowly crumbles above a shop blaring kwaito from its doors. Trendy hipsters shoot photographs against a backdrop of high rises while a car guard keeps watch over the street. Joburg is a colourful place, full of contradictions and tensions and anomalies. But it’s home and I love it.
On Monday I took a mission around the CBD to show my visiting German friend a little bit of Jozi’s magic. Our first stop was my favourite place: the Top of Africa. The 50th floor of the Carlton Centre offers unobstructed views over Joburg; to my home side in the east (although not that far east), the disappearing mine dumps and Turffontein Race Course to the south, Soccer City and Soweto to the west and the leafy suburbs of Westcliff and Parktown to the north. It is a damn fine viewpoint.
Not satisfied with the those views, we went off to the Constitutional Court where we glanced at the artwork along the court’s walls and then enjoyed the afternoon sun from the ramparts of the old fort.
View of Hillbrow from the Old Fort at the Constitutional Court